The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Seeking help with creating customized sandwich bread loaf...

cloudcover's picture

Seeking help with creating customized sandwich bread loaf...


hello -


i'm interested in making my own sandwich bread recipe but since i'm relatively new to baking, i was hoping to get some help to avoid lots of trials and errors.  my goal is to make a sandwich bread that is about 1/3 white whole wheat flour, 1/3 bread flour, and 1/3 oat flour.  i have reinhart's "whole grain" book and thought i'd maybe try starting with the "transitional wheat" bread recipe on p.99.  

but then i started thinking that maybe that wouldn't work so well because, as i understand it, oat flour doesn't have the same gluten forming ability that wheat flour has.  maybe i'm wrong there.

in any case, if someone can suggest how to modify reinhart's recipe -- or can suggest a new one with which to start -- i'd really appreciate it.

here's reinhart's version:

soaker:  8 oz whole wheat flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 7 oz milk.

biga:  8 oz unbleached bread flour, 1/4 tsp yeast, 5 oz water.

final dough:  soaker, biga, 1 oz whole wheat flour, 5/8 tsp salt, 2.25 tsp yeast, 3 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp butter.


my initial plan, a mentioned, was to substitute 3 oz of oat flour in each of the soaker and the biga.




davidg618's picture

Here's a formula that makes 3 one-pound loaves. We make this dough in the bread machine, bulk proof it (partially in the machine) for about 2 hours, divide and shape it for 3 pan loaves (8-1/2" x 4-1/2" x 2-3/4"). Final proof until approximately double in volume. Bake in 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes.

This, and an all white-flour variant, has been our weekly bread for about eight years. My wife has taken over responibilty for making this bread since I got obsessive about sourdoughs and rye breads.

I think it's a good place to start. I've adapted it to a sourdough version, we've made cinnamon swirl, and pesto swirl breads with it, and I've scaled it for a Pullman loaf pan.

I think you could substitute up to 300 g of oat flour in place of the bread flour. The dough wouldn't be as strong, but at this low hydration I don't think that would be critical. You also might consider using high gluten flour in place of the remaining 300 g of bread flour

Ignore the next line, It's from a cut & paste, and I can't get rid of it.


Flours & Grains



Whole Wheat



Bread Flour



Total Flour Wt.









Fluids (oz.)









Hydration %






total Wt.












Dough yeast






Butter, melted




I copied this formula from a spreadsheet we use to formulate most of our breads. We work entirely  weight.  The salt is 2% of the total flour weight (a scant 2 tsp.), and the dough yeast is simply 2 tsp. The Honey and Melted butter are both 2 Tablespoons. If you don't have a scale, a cup of WW flour weighs approximately 4 oz. and a cup of white flour weighs approximately 4-1/4 oz.

David G

Caltrain's picture

Sounds like what you're looking for is Reinhart's straun, albiet a transitional version. I would combine the soaker from the multigrain straun recipe with the biga from his transitional formulas.

Just keep in mind that, as Reinhart points out, you will most likely have to make flour and/or water adjustments as you work the dough.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but if the finished loaf seems too heavy for you, try substituting rolled oats instead.  They will interfere less with the gluten structure but soft enough not to cut up gluten threads. 

I'm not sure of any moisture adjustments.  I know oats soak up lots of water.

mrfrost's picture

Seems very similar to KAF's sharing bread, which is a very good, and high rising loaf. They use rolled oats, not oat flour though.

Sub 2 cups of ww for the bread flour in the final dough, and cut the flax meal(or not), and you're real close.

They also have a nice blog on it.



daysi's picture


I was looking for a recipe for whole wheat bread and run across this thread, so I decided to try the KAF's SHARING BREAD recipe... I was really disappointed, it might have been my mistake (Im 99% sure it was).

I had problems from the beginning, when mixing the starter with the rest of ingredients, It seemed to be very very dried, not as the recipe made it sound.

then on the second rise my formed loaves, split open on the top. They are baking right now so I still have to see and taste the final product, I will be posting pictures later my battery had died.

They look like cakes the little rise I saw seems to have disappeared, the reason why I said it might have been my fault is because number one I didnt use KA flour, since I am from Canada and haven't found it here, but I did use unbleached which I have noticed it absorbs more water that the other version, I use the same amounts though. The next change I made was substituting one cup of oats for one cup of wheat germ, just because. and then of course is the extra water I had to use to use because it was so dried I pour the entire amount of flour and it was not mixing. anyway please somebody some advise. I would really appreciate it.

Thanks to all


mrfrost's picture

In your case, I would advise to just start over, make no changes or substitutions, and try to follow the recipe directions, precisely as written. This will give you a baseline result, which you can then build on, and change as you see fit. The baseline will give you a standard of comparison and maybe enable you to see how any changes affected the outcome. I have only been baking for 2 years, so I usually try to follow the directions precisely on the first attempt.

From the outset, you say your starter is dry. To me this possibly indicates that you may not be measuring your ingredients precisely(best to weigh). The starter here contains the vast majority of the recipe's liquids(16 of 20 oz or so) and only 2 cups(8.25 oz) of flour. So there is a big flaw here somewhere that needs to be fixed. If your starter is dry, then your whole recipe will be dry because there is much more flour(and other grains) to be added, and very little liquid. Again, this is a very liquid starter.

Then there is the matter of the wheat germ. I don't use it often, but most (yeast)recipes I see seem to only call for a couple of tablespoons(give or take) per loaf. You added a whole cup(albeit for 2 loaves). So I don't know how it will affect the hydration, gluten development, rise, etc. ps: Just reread your post where the dryness starts when adding all the ingredients. So maybe it is the wheat germ causing it?

The recipe has a nice long blog, with plenty of step by step pictures of every phase of the process. There are also about 100 comments/questions at the end of the blog, many with responses from the KAF bakers, where required. I find that between the comments and questions on the recipe pages and those on the blogs, most of my issues will already have been addressed. Blog link:

Good luck!

daysi's picture

Thanks for your response I did go to the blog but didnt find anything helpful in my case, well the pictures I guess were a good indicator of where I went wrong, my starter was very very wet and as the recipe says when left for 24 hrs, there is plenty of liquids I do think that the wheat germ was the mistake anyway I'll try again.

By the way the finished product mmmm not much to say, I got a dense crumb and very dried and hard crust.

Thanks again